A novel elastase inhibitor from Aspergillus flavus (AFLEI) was isolated, and biochemical properties of AFLEI were examined. Column chromatography using diethylaminoethyl (DE) 52-Cellulose and Sephadex G-75 was used to purify the inhibitor. The final preparation was found to be homogeneous as indicated by a single band after disc polyacrylamide gel (PAGE) and isoelectric focusing electrophoreses. AFLEI had a molecular weight of 7,525.8 as determined by TOF-MS (time of flight mass spectrometry). The elastolytic activity of elastases from A. flavus, A. fumigatus and human leukocytes were inhibited by AFLEI. However, this activity from porcine pancreas elastase, trypsin, chymotrypsin, thrombin, and Ac1-Proteinase from snake venom was not affected by AFLEI. The fibrinogenase activity of the elastase from A. flavus was inhibited by AFLEI. AFLEI was inhibited by α2-macroglobulin. However, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA-2Na), benzamidine, chymostatin, tosyl phenylalanine chloromethyl ketone (TPCK) and dithiothreitol (DTT) did not show any inhibitory effect on the elastase inhibitory activity of AFLEI.
Early identification of Candida isolates to the species level is necessary for effective antifungal therapy, and can also facilitate control of hospital infections. Phenotype-based methods for identifying Candida species are often difficult and time-consuming. Molecular biological techniques provide a useful alternative approach. In the present study, the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions of fungal rRNA genes were amplified with universal primers in 20 standard strains. Digestion of the PCR products with one restriction enzyme, MspI, allowed discrimination of medically important Candida species, including C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, and C. guilliermondii. Using this method, we successfully identified 137 clinical isolates of Candida. Among them, C. albicans was identified as the most common species, followed by C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, C. krusei, and C. guilliermondii. This method is a simple, rapid, and cost-effective method for differentiation between species that is applicable in clinical laboratories.
The production of chlamydospores is a diagnostic tool used to identify Candida albicans; these structures also represent a model for morphogenetic research. The time required to produce them with standard methods is 48-72 hours in rice meal agar and tensoactive agents. This time can be shorted using liquid media such as cornmeal broth (CMB) and dairy supplements. Five media were tested: CMB plus 1% Tween-80, CMB plus 5% milk, CMB plus 5% milk serum, milk serum, and milk serum plus 1% Tween-80, under different incubation conditions: at 28°C and 37°C in a metabolic bath stirring at 150rpm, and at 28°C in a culture stove. The reading time points were established at 8 and 16 hours. The best results were obtained at 16 hours with CMB plus 5% milk under incubation at 28°C and stirring at 150 rpm. The next most efficient methods were CMB plus 5% milk serum and CMB plus 1% Tween-80, under the same incubation conditions. The other media were ineffective in producing chlamydospores. The absence of stirring at 28°C prevented the formation of chlamydospores within the set time points, and incubation at 37°C decreased their production. This paper reports that the time to form C. albicans chlamydospores can be reduced.
The conidia of filamentous fungi can be easily blown into the air and tend to be contaminants in the laboratory environment. We developed a new “safety culture tube for fungi” to prevent biohazards and a procedure for collecting conidia for passage or fixing strains was proposed.